CHEMUNG COUNTY, NY (WENY) - Chemung County has seen a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases. One hundred and twenty-one new active cases were recorded by The Chemung County Health Department Thursday morning. 

Thursday’s total brings Chemung County to 629 active COVID-19 cases. This is the highest total recorded in over the last month. Health officials say about a third of these cases have appeared in children. 

Sarah Mattison, the County’s Deputy Director of Public health, feels strongly about vaccinating her community. She claims vaccination is the bet best in keeping people out of the hospital. 

“It's not unheard of to have a breakthrough case, but what is incredibly rare is a hospitalization or death from a breakthrough case,” Mattison said. “That's really what we're after here. The vaccines were designed to prevent serious illness and death and they're incredibly affecting in doing that.” 

Many of these delta-variant and breakthrough cases endanger the 47% of Chemung County already fully vaccinated. Mattison suggest county members to be extra cautious with the return back to school and fall weather. 

“We advise people to take any allergy symptoms you have seriously, Mattison said. “You can have both allergies and COVID at the same time.” 

Mattison stressed how the county is combating these issues by providing local vaccination options. 

“First and foremost, we are having vaccination clinics,” Mattison said. “We would love to vaccinate anyone who is unvaccinated. As long as supplies last, we are offering Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.” 

The Chemung County Health Department is offering free vaccinations every Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30. For more information, please visit the Health Department’s Facebook page here